Monroe Middle School presents Seussical Jr…

The only photo I was allowed to take.

“Oh, the thinks you can think…”

What I thought I was going to see when I walked into the theatre at Monroe Middle School was a fun show with kids who were just having fun.  They would be hams on stage, but not honestly playing the part.

“When you think about Seuss..”

What I got was a treat.  I was a little apprehensive as I waited for the show to start because the tech desk was in the middle of the auditorium.  There were so many people walking by that I worried about the wires since I knew that everything from sound to lights to music were all sitting on top of that table.  So when the lights when down, I drew a deep breath and hoped for the best.

After the required “No photography” and “Turn off your phones” speeches by Director Paul Sawyer, the focus shifted to the trademark red and white striped hat that was downstage center.  From there, the show took off with Jojo and The Cat who lead into the story of “Horton Hears A Who.”  Ryan Mohs as Horton may not have been the size of an elephant, but he truly had the heart of that lovable character.  I loved that the ears he wore were wickedly floppy, but I don’t think they were big enough.

Gertrude McFuzz the bird that had the sad single feather tail was played by Gwyneth Forrester.  Just so y’all knows, this girl is FIERCE!!!  I love that she delved into her role and was in character every single moment she was on stage.  Not only was her character well done, she could sing.  She projected well and the mic issues that affected some of the other people were no problem for her.  She’s gonna go far if she pursues a career in The Arts.

Not to be outdone by her sister, Audrey Forrester who played little Jojo, likewise added depth of character, vocal ability, and stage presence to the show.  She was adorably vulnerable yet hopeful that they would be saved by Horton.

The Wickershams (Chris Clausen, Austin Nedved, Bailey Nedved, Siena Trent, Skylin Wellbrock, and Wilson Skjerven) had some great choreography with TONS of personality.

Other notable mentions: Katie Bieber as Yertle The Turtle had some pipes! Sadly, part of her scene had some mic problems. Mayzie LaBird, once her mic was fixed, was able to be the diva that she is!  The 3 bird girls were so sassy!!!  As was the Sour Kangaroo, Elise Bankosh.

The whole show moved at a quick clip and it only felt like the first act only seemed to last a half hour.  Aside from the few mic issues, the spot op needs to have a steadier grip on the light.

There are so many wonderful moments in this show that most people walked out with huge smiles on their faces, as did I.

These young performers are the future of the theatre scene and it’s pretty cool to see what the future holds.

Seussical Jr. plays for 3 more shows.  Friday and Saturday night 3/9-10/12 at 7PM and Saturday 3/10/12 at 1PM

You can find more info at the end of THIS blog post!  Go see this show. It’s a lot of fun, some great harmonies, and a ton of happy kids.

Do it for the children…


I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have the Arts. I don’t know if I would have turned out as fabulous as I am without the power of creativity and the joy that I got from making the things that I imagined as a kid.  Yes, they were mostly decorative or used for toys, but the knowledge that came with this was life changing.  I could dream up things like stories.  I could make them come to life by being a character.  I could make someone smile when they were feeling down with one of those characters.  I could entertain other people and not just my family.

As I got a little older, I realized that I don’t think like most people because of how I used my imagination in the past.  I thought outside the box.  A habit that still helps me.

The Arts taught me how focus and to use imagination to solve problems in the “real” world, and not to just stand around and think up the same old conventional way that I was taught in school.

The Arts taught me that there was more inside of me than I ever believed.  But there was only one Problem…

I wish it taught all this to me while I was still a youngster.

This is why, when I got an invite from my buddy Paul telling me about this show and the kids involved in it, I knew we could make a difference.   So I am reaching out to you, you fabulous and wonderful bunch of people, to join me in “Pack The House” for Monroe Middle School.  This weekend, the aim for the show, Seussical Jr., is to encourage the young performers to continue their pursuit of the Arts.

Do me a favor, close your eyes. Think back to when you were in middle school.  Imagine how those children would feel performing on stage, some of them for the first time.  The hesitation, nerves and fear that are screaming in their bodies to not make a fool of themselves, because it would be uncool to the other kids.  Because when you are in school, it’s always about what the other kids think.   Now imagine that because you are there encouraging, laughing and cheering on those nervous youngsters how different the outcome could be.

Not only will the Arts benefit from a new generation of performers getting experience on stage, but the performers will benefit because of the Arts that have brought them to the stage.  And you get to be part of that magic.  Please, please join me at Monroe Middle School for Seussical Jr. and “Pack The House!!!”

There’s a Facebook invite going around that you can join: Facebook Event: Pack The House

Buy your tickets in advance here: Tickets for Seussical Jr. at Monroe Middle School

Click here for directions to Monroe Middle School at 1055 S. Monroe Street, San Jose, CA

There are 4 shows.  Thursday 3/8, Friday 3/9, Saturday 3/10 starting at 7PM and Saturday 3/10 staring at 1PM.

I am thinking I might go opening night and if that doesn’t pan out, closing night would be my other choice.

I will be posting on twitter and Facebook which day I get my tickets for.  Like I said, please come and be a part of this magical moment for these young performers.

I look forward to meeting you there!!